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Day 9: White Water rafting and the Cody Rodeo

Today, started with laundry. Our family members had one Ikea sized cube for clothing for the entire trip so we knew at some point we would have to do laundry. I asked my daughter to complete the laundry and paid her accordingly. She would not normally get paid extra for a chore like laundry but the other two children weren't required to do an extra chore while on vacation. So, she got rewarded!

My children aren't huge pancake fans so my husband made them breakfast this morning! Actually, he made breakfast for our friend's children as well. Camp food is so much fun to cook and there is just something about cooking outdoors. The friends who joined us on our adventure are more like family, so adding them in our activities, even cooking, is quite natural.

In the early afternoon, we headed downtown to white water raft. Everyone was excited. We paid our fees, signed our wavers, and put on our life jackets. We loaded in a bus and headed to the Shoshone River. Wyoming had been quite dry but nearly every day we were there it rained so the river was at a 3/3.5 in some places but mostly it was quite calm.

Our tour guides name was Hunter.

I am going to say right now, if you ever go white water rafting in Cody, Wyoming, I HIGHLY recommend Hunter as a tour guide at River Rafters of Wyoming!

Hunter was funny and answered all the questions we asked. He also allowed the children to hop out and "swim" back to the boat. He told us the holes in the sides of the mountains were made from a bird, the Sand Peckers! Um, nope! Our kids didn't even fall for it. Another story he told was about some New Yorkers that saw a cow with a green tag in its ear at the top of the mountain. They asked what it was and he said it was a green eared water bear. They New Yorkers took their cameras out and started snapping pictures. He never told them otherwise.

The children wanted to know the craziest question he had ever been asked and he said a tourist asked what time they let the animals out in Yellowstone. He replied, "8:52." They may still believe it.

We had so much fun and the river was calm enough that no one got thrown from the raft and the rapids were crazy enough that we had some thrills. So, it was perfect especially for a first experiences.

We quickly realized we didn't have time to go back and cook so we went shopping for a bit instead. The Yellowstone Store in Cody was the kids' favorite store and I think they went there at least 4 times. In fact, they all got cowboy hats for the rodeo.

We went back to the KOA and changed for the rodeo, grabbed a quick snack, hopped on the free shuttle to the rodeo.

Going to the rodeo was refreshing for us Michiganders. Even though Michigan is technically open right now, It feels different here. Restrictions just aren't a thing in Cody. And, they haven't been. It is like going back a few decades where people rely on God, men are still macho (yes, I said that), and they support their fellow country men.

The rodeo started with prayer. The clown was funny and the bull riding and barrel racers were fascinating. At one point the clown asked if there were any Californians there. When they cheered, he welcomed them to the USA. The humor was good for the soul.

The kids made good use of their cowboy hats and enjoyed the evening immensely.


Towards the very end of the rodeo, a bull fighter was gored by a bull. He went down for awhile but got back up very wounded. There was one more bull rider and the injured bull fighter finished strong. He definitely needed medical attention. As we were leaving, I looked back and the rodeo clown and the bull fighters were huddled praying. *Sigh* I think I want to move to Cody. People aren't openly Christ followers in so many parts of the world. Not in a big arena with so many people looking. We need to forget our inhibitions and let our Light shine.

On the way out, I got a Cody Rodeo sticker. When I put all the stickers I acquired on this trip on our trailer, I will take a picture. The rodeo went quite late and we were all ready for our bed at the end of the day. BUT, it was the last night, some of the children were hungry and they wanted to visit around a campfire. So, we did. After all, it is vacation and tomorrow we leave this beloved destination. Somehow, I am not sure if anything will top the last 4 days!

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